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Sustainability at Work

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What Can Be Composted


As of November 1, 2014, waxed cardboard will no longer be allowed as part of the commercial compost collection. As of March 1, 2015, only food scraps will be accepted.

These non-food items will NO LONGER be accepted:

 Materials no longer accepted in compost

**Portland’s residential composting program has not changed.

Bags - Transparent and semi-transparent BPI certified compostable bags will be the only non-food item allowed.

Find FAQs and more information about these changes.

What's Allowed, and What's Not?

Business compost is Food Only.

Please note: residential compost guidelines are different.


YES — all foods go into business compost

  • Meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, bones
  • Eggs and eggshells, cheese, dairy products
  • Bread, baked goods, pasta, rice, beans, nuts, seeds
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Tea bags and loose leaf tea
  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Spoiled food
  • BPI-certified compostable bags

NO — these items do not go into business compost

Not food

  • Cardboard
    • Waxed or regular boxes
    • Pizza boxes
    • Plastic-coated cardboard
  • Paper products
    • Paper towels
    • Plastic-lined papers
    • Coffee cups
    • Coffee stir sticks and toothpicks
    • To-go boxes
  • "Compostable" products
    • The only non-food item allowed is BPI-certified compostable bags for collecting food
    • Even if something says "compostable," "biodegradable," or "made from plants" it CANNOT go into the compost
  • Yard debris
    • Tree trimmings
    • Leaves
    • Grass
    • Brush/weeds
    • Wood (raw, painted, treated)
    • Pallets
  • Liquids, grease, cooking oil
  • Plastic garbage bags
  • Plastic-lined papers
    • Coffee cups
    • To-go boxes
  • Plastic wrap/film
  • Styrofoam TM, metal, glass